By Mvix

In the fall of last year, Mvix launched “The Chris Wolf Scholarship,” a digital signage scholarship for college students committed to careers in the visual communication field.

The scholarship honors the memory of Chris Wolf, a beloved Mvix member who championed customer relations and led the company in going above-and-beyond to build positive relationships with clients. Mvix created the scholarship to carry on his beliefs of strengthening and growing the digital signage industry through education.

In addition to scholarship dollars, the winner was offered:

The Project

The scholarship was advertised and open to current design students in American universities. Each designer had to imagine they worked for a company that managed mega malls and they’d been tasked with displaying content on a big video wall.

They then had to select at least 3 content from the list below and design a digital poster with the content to be displayed on the video wall:

  1. Wayfinding Map or Mall Directory
  2. Social Media
  3. Schedule of Events (daily and/or weekly)
  4. Local Weather (temperature, conditions, 5 day forecast)
  5. Uber/Lyft Schedule times (example)
  6. Featured Stores/Promotions
  7. Animated GIFS to add motion and attract customers
  8. Clock and Date

The goal was to display the content in a way that’s easy to understand but still attractive and, ultimately, engage with mall customers.

We wanted students to show their style, individuality, and creativity. The visual design and direction was entirely up to them, but these criteria would be considered when selecting the winner of the scholarship:

  1. Clarity and Design Hierarchy: Each piece of information is easy to follow and understand. There is a clear focus of the design.
  2. Visual Cohesion: The elements of design are appealing and unified.
  3. Originality: Work does not feel derivative and shows the designer’s style and personality.

In addition to the design work, applicants had to also submit a 300-word description of their work. This can include their thought process, understanding of the audience, the reasoning behind their choices, and which aspect of the design they are particularly proud of. Applicants had to include a copyright statement stating the design project is THEIR intellectual property and should not be copied without their consent.

Winner of the 2018 Chris Wolf Scholarship: Rebecca Paneque

The winner of this year’s scholarship went to design student Rebecca Paneque, who created the design listed above.

Not only did she meet all of the requirements of the design project, but Rebecca’s essay was very well thought out, and it was obvious she put in lots of research and time into developing an attractive and engaging display.

In her own words, here is how she went about designing this project:

“Before I even started designing, I had to look at some more reference images of what a Video Wall looks like. Let the record be known that I have Autism so with some things I need a more “on-the-nose” visual representation to understand what I am doing. Once I had figured out what I had to create I began to create a couple of thumbnail sketches. I created a total of four sketches decided to pick the best two out of the four and have some outside input for a final decision. The design that I choose with was that I would illustrate someone using their phone and the notifications would “pop-up” and show the viewers the mall map, social media and some of the store promos.

I decided to go this route because I felt this would be the best fit for the given criteria. I wanted to create the advertisement in a such a way where anyone who sees this wall would instantly relate to it. The choice of the smartphone was easy since society is so reliant on the use of it throughout the day. We use them to check the weather, to see if natural disasters are coming our way or even see what is going on in the news with just a simple press of a button. This design can also be useful in a marketing and promotional perspective.

In this design, the phone used is an iPhone. That in itself is a promotional opportunity for Apple. A different phone company will take notice and pay the designer and its company to make to make the same advertisement but with their phone. The design also promotes the use of apps that are most commonly used along with apps that the stores had created for their future customers. I wanted to create a design that was not only visually appealing but also open to promotional opportunities that would help a design company make higher profits.

The design itself is a multimedia-based work. Meaning that I have used Adobe Illustrator as well as Adobe Photoshop to complete my design. I’ve always felt that using both programs together makes the piece more detailed and interesting than opposed to using one program over the other. I used a blue gradient for the background so that it would catch the viewers eyes but, it would not be too distracting. Using colors that would not hurt the viewer’s eyes was the main thought in mind when I was creating the mall map and the hand holding the phone.  The hand base was created in Illustrator and I added some detail and shading in Photoshop so that it would look as close to a real hand as possible. Lastly, as I placed the text in I wanted to be sure that it was visible to read and contrasted well with the blue background.

Overall, I am very pleased with how this piece came out. I think that it would be a very useful design for a Video Wall and one that viewers would find very appealing to look at and gather their information.”

Thanks to Rebecca and all of the students who submitted projects for the Scholarship! Stay tuned for information soon on the 2019 scholarship by following along at this site.

Photo Credit: Mvix and Rebecca Paneque
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